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5 Sep, 2019 11:29

‘It’s an honor when Americans attack me,’ Pope Francis jokes

‘It’s an honor when Americans attack me,’ Pope Francis jokes

The Pope didn’t seem too put out when faced with a long list of accusations against him from American Catholics as he was flying from Rome to Mozambique. He said he was honored to be attacked by them.

The book ‘How America Wanted to Change the Pope’ explores the supposed efforts of the conservative Catholic opposition in the US to launch a “coup d’état” against Francis. A copy was given to the pontiff by the author Nicolas Seneze, a journalist from France’s Catholic newspaper La Croix, who was on board the papal plane Wednesday.

“For me it is an honor that Americans attack me,” the pope quipped as he received the book, which he had apparently heard about and wanted to procure.He joked that the book about his critics “will be a bombshell.”

But Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni attempted to deflate tensions, clarifying that the comments were made informally. He said Francis “always considers it an honor to be criticized,” especially when it comes from “authoritative voices” or, as in this case, “an important nation.”

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Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Francis has gained a reputation as a more ‘liberal’ pope, compared to his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. This led to criticism from some church officials and right-wing thinkers. Seneze’s book describes, among other things, how a former papal envoy to the US, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, had written a highly-publicized letter last year, calling for Francis to resign for allegedly mishandling the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals.

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